Former NFL player Ryan O'Callaghan came out gay Tuesday in an exclusive interview with Outsports.

O'Callaghan played football in college and was drafted by the New England Patriots in the fifth round of the 2006 NFL Draft. He moved to the Kansas City Chiefs in 2009 and retired from the sport in 2011.

The 33-year-old offensive tackle said that his fear of being discovered led him to plan his own death once his football career was over.

“My whole plan was to end my life after football. I never planned on living. When I was done with football, that was going to be it,” O'Callaghan said.

“All I had ever done was think how bad the reaction would be. It takes a lot more strength to be honest with yourself than it does to lie,” he added.

O'Callaghan first confided his sexuality to a drug-abuse counselor whom the Chiefs' head trainer had advised him to see. The counselor quickly recognized that O'Callaghan's addiction to painkillers was a cry for help.

“It took a while to build up that strength to even tell her. You have to build up trust with someone. Just telling her was, like, a huge weight off my shoulders,” he said.

He said that he's stepping forward to help others. “As long as there are people killing themselves because they are gay, there is a reason for people like me to share my story and try to help,” O'Callaghan said.